Aloe Vera and its products are today popularly used worldwide and the consumption is rising. But, what is the reason behind its popularity?
A species of Aloe, Aloe Vera originated in the warm and dry climates of Northern Africa.Historical evidence suggests that it is one of the oldest plants having medicinal properties and health benefits.
Aloe Vera is becoming an essential ingredient in beauty and medicinal products. Following its popularity, many people keep Aloe Vera plants at home for its beauty and herbal benefits. It is said to contain over 200 biologically active, naturally- occurring elements, including vitamin, enzymes, amino acids and minerals.
The useful parts of Aloe Vera are the gel and the latex. The gel is obtained from the cells in the centre of the leaf and the latex is obtained from the cells, just beneath the leaf skin.
Healthcare practitioners use aloe gel to treat skin disorders, wounds, sun burns, radiation burns, dermatitis, diaper rashes, psoriasis, dandruff, scabies and bed sores. As a natural moisturizer, it provides oxygen to the skin and strengthens it within. Aloe Vera has anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties that help to treat mouth ulcers, gum disease and dental plaque.
Aloe latex is taken by mouth for seizures, asthma, colds, lack of menstrual period, swelling of the colon, depression, diabetes, glaucoma, vision disorders, varicose veins and joint inflammation. It promotes digestive health, nutrition absorption, healthy immune system and the reduction of nitrates. The plant is also thought to soothe arthritis and rheumatism.
Applying aloe gel is safe, but consuming it in unprocessed form from the latex can cause several side effects leading to major health problems if consumed in excess quantity. It can cause diarrhoea as it contains a substance called anthraquinone, if the laxative is consumed beyond moderation. Excess usage can lower the blood sugar and potassium levels. Sometimes Aloe Vera juice may result in skin rash, itchy or swollen skin, chest pain, throat irritation and difficulty in breathing.
If you feel these allergic reactions, stop consuming it immediately. Pregnant and lactating women should never consume Aloe Vera juice due to its purgative and irritant qualities. It can lead to miscarriage and birth defects. Lactating mothers are forbidden from its consumption because of the presence of anthraquinone which may lead to diarrhoea causing risk to the health of both mother as well as child.
Prolonged usage of Aloe Vera juice can also cause blood accumulation in the pelvis which may lead to kidney damage. The most alarming thing is that consuming it for more than a year can cause pseudomelanosis coli, a condition which increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
Too much of anything can destroy you, so don’t exceed the recommended usage of Aloe Vera juice. Consult your doctor before starting its consumption, especially if you are undergoing a medical treatment.